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In my opinion column, On San Diego, I offered a brief positive review of That Evening Sun after viewing it at the San Diego Film Festival. Those published comments are offered below.
"That Evening Sun," starring Hal Holbrook, shown on Sunday night to a packed house as the last film of the 2009 San Diego Film Festival. Now in his 80s, Holbrook gives a tremendous and subtle performance, as do all of the other actors in this Southern Gothic set in Tennessee: Walton Goggins, Mia Wasikowska, Carrie Preston and Ray McKinnon. With a screenplay written by Scott Teems, like fine red wine, well made and maintained, every character of the movie is developed and complex -- even the barking dog!
The tension between characters, circumstances and passions makes this film a rarity, genuinely gripping from scene to scene and unpredictable to the end. The sound track is beautiful and delicately augments the emotional tension as the film wonderfully plays against the painterly rustic sharecropper house interior, forest, sunset sky and fantastically grizzled faces of authentically rendered people pursuing their respective deep, heartfelt aspirations. Like a Henry James novella, the film is underlain with ambiguity and uncertainty, empathy and shifting sympathies that will provoke conversation; one might pronounce it a good "date movie," with something for both men and women. A gem, this film is the kind one may only see at a film festival.
San Diegans were lucky to be among the first to see the final cut of this fine work. Fortunately, come Thanksgiving time, 2009, "That Evening Sun" will be seen in limited release in Los Angeles and New York theatres. Perchance it will also return to San Diego?
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